Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback 40 test: between passion and reason

Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback 40 test: between passion and reason

Presented last year in Hatchback version, the Audi Q4 e-Tron returns to the front of the stage with a Sportback body that is in tune with the times, that of coupe SUVs. A mode that allows the manufacturer to display a more advantageous drag coefficient (Cx of 0.26 against Cx of 0.28 for the classic SUV) and to reduce consumption, the spearhead of electric vehicles.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

Based on the MEB modular platform, our Q4 Sportback 40 e-tron is adorned with a single engine placed on the rear axle developing 204 hp. A modest power compared to the overall weight, but which is only transmitted to the rear wheels. The 77 kWh battery promises 522 km of autonomy.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

If the price of the Q4 e-tron Sportback starts at €46,750 in the 170 hp version with a 55 kWh battery, our 40 e-Tron test version starts at €52,900. Our Design Luxe finish even starts at €57,500 and is fitted as standard with electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, a rain and light sensor, the 10.25″ Digital Cockpit, 19-inch rims, a leather steering wheel, the MMI Navigation advanced infotainment pack, the Audi Sound System, the security assistance pack, the hands-free key, Matrix LED headlights, the tailgate with electric opening and closing and even leather sports seats — in theory at least, because on our launch version they were made of fabric. A rich endowment therefore, which makes the proposal attractive.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Ergonomics and design

Discovering the Audi Q4 Sportback 40 e-tron, there is little doubt that we are facing a premium SUV. Its silhouette is distinguished by a specific rear which reinforces its sporty look and improves the drag coefficient.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

The front face is distinguished by a grille single-frame full and a new light signature with Matrix LED headlights. The stretched and muscular sides reinforce their curve with tonic features and the massive wheel arches make the line more virile.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

For the rest, the Q4 e-tron Sportback generally takes on the features of the concept car presented in 2019 with a short front overhang and large 19 to 21 inch wheels (20 inches on our test version).

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

In terms of dimensions, we remain on a footprint almost identical to those of the Skoda Enyaq and ID.5 cousins, with a length of 4.59 m, a width of 1.86 m and a height of 1.63 m. The whole remains massive, but the receding roof line on the rear spoiler fluidifies the silhouette.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

Above all, the generous wheelbase of 2.76 m allows a respectable habitability. The coupé-type bodywork in no way interferes with interior space. In the back, leg and elbow room is very generous. There is also a comfortable central square with the absence of a service tunnel. The roof guard will satisfy the tallest, with a slightly inclined seat.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

The trunk, however, remains the smallest of the three (535 l for the Q4, 549 l for the ID.5 and 570 l for the Enyaq).

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

At the front, no surprise since the Q4 Sportback e-tron takes up the dashboard of the SUV with flexible plastic elements at the top and furniture with a worked design. The cockpit has a design with modern geometric shapes, and if the whole thing may seem massive – especially for the passenger – everything falls perfectly to hand.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

Note also a floating center console directly from the VW ID and Enyaq with a glossy plastic not very pleasant to the touch and hard plastics on the lower parts. It’s a bit of a shame on Audi’s part.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

Comfort and equipment

Noise measurement at 130 km/h

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

66 db(A)

The manufacturer makes up for it, however, with air conditioning controls that are much more ergonomic than among the group’s cousins. Here we have access to direct access keys with an information screen. Same observation at the central MMI touch screen of 11.6 inches.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

The home screen is customizable and the interface is ergonomic, with icons that make it easy to navigate. If we still deplore some latency, especially when we want to move around the navigation screen, the whole remains responsive. Not as much as a smartphone, sure, but the experience is mid-high. Two downsides, however: its panel is a little too shiny and above all it is a fingerprint magnet.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

The digital instrumentation is entrusted to the 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit which gives access to all driving information, the counter, the speed on the screen, the state of charge of the battery (in percentage and in kilometres). Above all, it also integrates navigation and different display configurations. It is in any case more complete than on the small 5.3-inch screen of the Skoda Enyaq and VW ID.5. And like the latter, the Q4 plays the card of modernity with a steering wheel with haptic feedback… which unfortunately turns out to be unintuitive. In this game, it is Skoda who is doing well.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

The head-up display is particularly pleasant to use. Information is projected directly onto the windshield and is displayed distinctly, as if it were part of the driver’s real environment. It is possible to adjust the light intensity and adjust the HUD on the x, y and z axes. Attention, it is preferable to make these adjustments when stationary, because you have to immerse yourself in the meanders of the MMI and therefore take your eyes off the road.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

When the adaptive driving assistant is activated, various visual cues are displayed. Thus, as soon as the Audi Q4 e-tron approaches a lane marking without the turn signal having been activated, the lane departure warning superimposes a red line on the actual marking. Ditto with the regulator: the car in front of Q4 is identified by a colored band. The set is playful and does not disturb driving, as long as you are familiar with the display.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

The Audi Q4 e-Tron 40 Sportback gives pride of place to equipment, mainly with automatic braking with anti-collision assistance, lane keeping assistance, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera (including image quality is appreciable) with 360° vision, fatigue detector, blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control with assistance system in traffic jams.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Handling and performance

The Audi Q4 e-Tron Sprtback 40 is powered by an electric motor positioned on the rear axle which delivers 150 kW (204 hp) and 310 Nm of torque. The 0-100 km/h takes 8.5 seconds and the top speed is 160 km/h. Not very glorious figures for such a dynamic line badged Audi, but which will suffice in the context of a quiet driving of a good father.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

The Q4 is a comfortable SUV well planted on its 19-inch wheels. The chassis is particularly sound, well helped by the piloted suspension (available as an option) which makes it possible to contain – as far as possible – the roll. If the Q4 is (very) heavy with its 2020 kg empty, its low center of gravity and its propulsion allow it to display a certain dynamism all the same.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

Above all, the steering is precise, direct, and the Bridgestone Turanza tires make their limit distinctly felt. We skip the performance, but the rhythmic driving goes without a hitch.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

Regenerative braking management is adjustable on three levels. It’s a matter of taste, but in writing, we appreciated the strongest mode, as well as mode B which simulates more engine braking. The middle pedal is then only used for stopping or emergencies. On all versions, it is possible to tow an unbraked trailer of 750 kg.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

In short, the driving experience is pleasant, relatively comfortable, certainly unsurprising, but all in all quite rational.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Autonomy and charging

DC load

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

12.11km/min

A rationality that we also finally find in consumption. Obviously, for a family SUV, we are light years away from what a good old diesel can offer in terms of sobriety and autonomy, but for an electric SUV it is not so bad. Thus, with its 77 kWh (net) battery, the autonomy of the Q4 e-tron is announced at 520 km.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWh

© David Lefevre / Digital

On our side, we noted an average consumption of 16 kWh / 100 km in the city, 18 kWh / 100 km on the road and 23 kWh / 100 km on the highway. It’s not yet optimal and it gives a measured mixed autonomy of 414 km, but in the electric segment, it’s rather in the good average. In mixed, an Ioniq 5, for example, displays according to our measurements 390 km, when a Model Y is around 460 km.

Audi Q4 e-tron 40 sportback suv electric coupe 204hp 77 kWH

© David Lefevre / Digital

Compared to the latter, it is ultimately the charging power that is disappointing, with a maximum charging power of only 135 kW in direct current. According to the manufacturer, this allows you to go from 5 to 80% autonomy in 38 minutes. On an 11 kW (AC) socket, the charging time is 7 h 30 min.

Strong points

  • Dynamic silhouette.

  • Full equipment.

  • Comfort.

  • Efficient infotainment.

  • Healthy handling.

Weak points

  • Some finishing details.

  • Haptic feedback on steering wheel.

  • Any performance.

  • Disappointing charging power.

Conclusion

we tested we liked
Global mark

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

How does grading work?

If Audi gives in to the fashion for coupe SUVs, its Q4 Sportback e-tron is a good student. It is certainly not perfect, in particular due to somewhat disappointing finishing details and nondescript performance, but the MEB platform offers good roominess, healthy handling and Audi stands out with a rather complete infotainment system and pertinent. There remains the question of consumption. The Q4 e-tron remains reasonable and offers a decent autonomy… which will not however be suitable for large rollers, especially since the charging power is just sufficient. Strongly a next generation in 800 volts!

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